U.S. Representative, Mayor of Chicago | BA Political Science, ’49
Harold Washington began his political career as the vice president and then president of Roosevelt’s student council. He went on to serve for 15 years in the Illinois state legislature and for two terms in the U.S. House. As Chicago’s first black mayor, Washington increased minority representation in city government and sought to balance economic development between neighborhoods.
Washington was nicknamed the “People’s Mayor” for his ability to unify Chicagoans from different backgrounds. In a campaign speech, he once said: “In the future when you ask me, ‘What are you really like, Mayor Washington?’ I’m going to say, ‘Go over to Roosevelt University. I’m like them.’”